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News posted on Monday, 24 October 2016

China now our leading wine export market
Australia's 1743 active wine exporters sold 10pc more wine in offshore markets to achieve export sales of $2.17 billion for in the past year. Mainland China has outstripped the United States as the leading destination for Australian wine exports for the first time, with the soaring industry-wide sales momentum providing a further boost for Penfolds owner Treasury Wine Estates. Exports by Australian wine producers to China jumped by 51 per cent to $474 million in the 12 months to September 30 overtaking the US, which increased by 4pc to $448m.

Margaret River cabernet from Deep Woods wins Australia's most sought-after wine award
Western Australia continues to dominate 2016's major national wine shows after a Margaret River winery won Australia's most sought-after wine trophy on Thursday night. The 2014 Deep Woods reserve cabernet sauvignon won the coveted Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy, awarded to the best young dry red (one or two years old) at the Melbourne Wine Show. Some of Australia's most famous wines, including Penfolds Grange, have won the Jimmy Watson since it was first awarded in 1962, when the owner of one of Melbourne's most famous wine bars died suddenly and his friends established the trophy in his memory.

Tamburlaine First in for 2017 Sydney Wine Festival
The Sydney Wine Festival will be held at Rosehill Gardens on October 14 & 15, 2017 and is set to be a showcase of NSW wineries, wine related products and services, food purveyors and live entertainment. The event’s main focus will be to promote NSW Wines and as such this new initiative has the support of the NSW Wine Industry Association. Tamburlaine, Australia’s largest organic wine producer, has been the first to sign up with marketing co-ordinator Ayla Wilton saying “We couldn’t be more excited to be a part of the inaugural Sydney Wine Festival. The time of year is ideal and the location is unique to any other wine event we’ve been to. Looking forward to seeing you Rosehill!"

Limestone Coast Wine Show starts today!
501 bottles of Limestone Coast wine will be put to the ultimate test this week, with the 2016 Limestone Coast Wine Show now officially underway. Judging will take place inside Coonawarra Hall over the next four days, with Chief of Judges, Jane Faulkner, leading the high-profile panel of six national and international wine critics looking to unearth 16 trophy winners at the 16th annual event. “I am thrilled with response,” Jane says. “501 entries is an excellent result and of course, extra wines means one thing – more medals. I have a feeling this year is going to be the best show yet.”

Falling pound may affect Accolade Wines sale
The backers of CHAMP Private Equity’s Accolade Wines were maintaining over the weekend that the timetable of the sale for the Australian-based operation was on track, despite speculation mounting that the falling British pound could prompt delays. Accolade — widely viewed as a strongly performing business — was expected to come to market in the first quarter of next year, but the suggestion from those close to the situation is that it was always on track for a sale some time between January and June. Working on a divestment of the $1 billion-plus operation on behalf of Champ is Reunion Capital, while Citi and Morgan Stanley have been selected to provide advice on an initial public offering of the business, should it head to the Australian Securities Exchange.

Fingers crossed for another great vintage
From Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, to Chardonnay, the range of wine styles recognised at the Hawke's Bay A&P Bayley's Wine Awards on Tuesday night impressed the panel of local, national, and international judges. Chairman of judges was Trinity Hill chief winemaker Warren Gibson, who has been at Trinity Hill since it was established in 1997. Mr Gibson said the awards, presented at a extravagant dinner on Tuesday night, showcased the "huge range of styles" of wine produced in Hawke's Bay.

HB heads the way for full-bodied reds
After three years of chardonnay domination in the successful pursuit of the Hawke's Bay A&P Bayleys Wine Awards Champion Wine of Show title a syrah has emerged, leading Hawke's Bay Winegrowers Association chairman Michael Henley to simply remark "no surprise there". The return to form for the red was arguably overdue. It enjoyed a remarkable six years on the trot winning run between 2005 and 2010 before a merlot stepped up, but then it was syrah again in 2012.

Price of wine set to soar
Global wine output is heading for an an almost 20-year low as "climatic events" including El Nino severely hit grape production in many countries. Argentina is set to report wine production plummeted by more than a third this year - news that will worry fans of malbec, while Chile is on course for a 21 per cent drop. Brazil, less well-known for its wine, will see its output cut in half, according to the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV).

Gary Eberle’s comeback: How he rebuilt his namesake winery in Paso Robles
After a difficult couple years in which Gary Eberle lost then regained control of his namesake winery, the Paso Robles pioneer said the business is back on track and he’s looking forward to moving on from the ordeal. Eberle Winery is profitable again, he said, even with larger business and personal mortgages he took out to buy the shares, he and wife Marcy needed to regain ownership. “We are free and clear finally, and I don’t have to think about it anymore,” said Eberle, 72, who also had to tap into his pension plan to finance the purchase.

A snapshot of the German wine market
Germany is a country that produces its own wine. However, unlike many other wine-producing countries, domestic production falls far short of satisfying the consumption of the German population. Moreover, the limited production means that Germany is the largest importer of wine by volume in the world. Although the USA is ahead in value terms, the German market imports the largest volume, at around 16m hL. However, not everything that is imported stays in the country. Around 3m hL are re-exported, mostly in the form of low-price wines for the European food retail sector, which are bottled by the large German bottling wineries acting as subcontractors for the companies concerned.

Sales are soaring at the Trump Winery
Sales of Trump Winery wines are up by 55% year-on-year, according to Kerry Woolard, general manager of the Virginia winery. The news comes as Donald Trump’s eponymous brand is having a difficult time in other categories. According to a recent report in the New York Times (link is external), consumers are cancelling reservations with Trump properties, cutting up Trump neck ties, and returning clothes bearing the Ivanka Trump label, in protest at the behaviour Donald Trump has displayed during his campaign to become President of the United States.

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